On one cold December evening – United Airlines flight 173, was approaching Portland airport. They experienced a malfunction in the landing gear.

The Captain decided to enter a holding pattern – keeping the aircraft within a specified airspace and not landing.

He tried to fix the landing gear problem for over one hour. He was focused on fixing the problem – after all it was his responsibility to land the aircraft safely.

The first officer and the flight engineer were worried – they had given repeated hints about dwindling fuel-supply – but the captain was focused… on fixing the the current challenge.

He realised the criticality of the challenge – only when the engines caught fire.

They crash-landed in a wooded suburb, six miles short of the runway. Of the 189 people aboard – 2 crew members and eight passengers died.

A situation that could have easily been averted if the captain had listened to his team, if the team had been more assertive in their communication, if critical information was brought to the notice of the captain before it was too late…. There are many “ifs”…..

Interestingly, NASA has designed an effective training procedure. A procedure – that can help avert situations like these.

CRM (Crew Resource Management) is a training program that helps in building a culture where authority may be respectfully questioned.

A discrepancy between what is happening and what should be happening is often the first indicator that an error is occurring.

This is a delicate subject for many organizations, especially ones with traditional hierarchies.

Appropriate communication techniques must be taught to supervisors and their subordinates.   Supervisors need to understand that the questioning of authority need not be considered a threat and subordinates need to understand the correct way to question orders.

This is why our program on “Assertive Communication” is a big hit. Assertiveness in critical moments of decision making is an important skill to master.

Here’s a question you might want to answer:

As a manager, when was the last time, you listened attentively to your subordinate critiquing your decision or views?

As a team member, when was the last time, you brought your team’s attention to a challenge they have overlooked?

Most of us go either with majority or authority … its time you broke this barrier

If you can’t remember the answer to the above question, you might want to enrol into our program on “Assertive communication” – the program is precision engineered to help your team learn a step by step procedure on “CRM” (Crew Resource Management) – a methodology that is scientifically proven to avert disasters. For more information write to info@ableventures.in

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